The military has impounded more than 900 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice and arrested four suspected smugglers in the ongoing “Operations Calm Waters and Swift Response’’ coordinated by the Nigerian Navy.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka anti-smuggling team intercepted and arrested a medium size wooden boat laden with 293x50kg bags of the rice and the suspects.
He added that other items recovered include 2x90hp and 2x40hp outboard engines as well as four pumping machines.
“Similarly, the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory anti-smuggling team intercepted and arrested a wooden boat laden with 601x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon and four suspected smugglers at Agbami Platform.
“The items recovered and suspects were handed over to the Department of Marine Police, Calabar, for further investigations and possible prosecution,” he said.
Onyeuko disclosed that the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) had on March 21 reactivated “Exercise Treasure Guard II’’ following the cancellation of Exercise Obangame Express 2020.
Obangame express 2020 was scheduled to hold from March 21 to March 26 but was cancelled due to the global spread of COVID-19.
He added that the exercise was activated at the Western Naval Command.
According to him, the objective of the exercise was to assess the operational readiness of the Western Naval Command, Fleet and bases (NAN)